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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday July 20 to Thursday July 27

The New Moon is Sunday, July 23. Mercury rendezvous with Regulus and the thin crescent Moon on the 25th. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. Saturn is visible all night in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus dominates the morning sky below the head of Taurus the Bull. The crescent Moon is below Venus on the 21st.

The New Moon is Sunday, July 23. The Moon is at Perigee, closest to the earth, on the 22nd.

Evening sky on Tuesday July 25 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:25 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Mercury is above the western horizon near Regulus and the thin crescent Moon.

Mercury climbs higher in the evening twilight sky. It is now readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after sunset, and is obvious at least 60 minutes after sunset. Mercury is climbing towards the bright star Regulus. On the 25th and 26th Mercury and Regulus will be less than a finger-width apart, on the 25t they are joined by the thin crescent Moon. 

Evening sky on Saturday July 22 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:55 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter on Saturday July 22 at 18:55 ACST .

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is rising before sunset and is now high above the northern-western horizon in the early evening at full dark. It is in between the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the relatively bright star Porrima. Jupiter is now closer to Porrima than Spica.

Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on April the 8th. Jupiter is rising before the sun sets and is visible until just before midnight. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from astronomical twilight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.


Thu 20 Jul 17:53 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Thu 20 Jul 19:19 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse 
Thu 20 Jul 21:17 Gan: Disappears into Occultation 
Tue 20 Jun 22:57 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Fri 21 Jul 23:40 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Sat 22 Jul 19:32 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Mon 24 Jul 18:26 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends 
Mon 24 Jul 21:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Mon 24 Jul 21:37 Io : Disappears into Occultation 
Tue 25 Jul 18:49 Io : Transit Begins               T 
Tue 25 Jul 20:02 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST 
Tue 25 Jul 21:01 Io : Transit Ends                 S 
Tue 25 Jul 22:13 Io : Shadow Transit Ends 
Tue 25 Jul 22:39 Eur: Transit Begins               T 
Wed 26 Jul 19:32 Io : Reappears from Eclipse 
Wed 26 Jul 22:50 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Thu 27 Jul 18:42 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Thu 27 Jul 21:53 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse 
 

Evening sky on Saturday July 15 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 21:40 ACST, when Saturn is at its highest. Saturn is almost overhead high above the northern horizon.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Saturn was  at opposition on the 15th, when it was biggest and brightest in the sky as seen from earth. Saturn is visible all night long. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 9 pm on. It is poised above the dark rifts in the Milky Way and is in a good area for binocular hunting. It continues to climb into the evening skies as the week progresses.  Saturn's rings are visible even in small telescopes and are always good to view.

The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the north-eastern to northern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.

Morning sky on Friday July 21 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:19 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling below the bright star Aldebaran and above  the crescent Moon. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  is lowering in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "Gibbous Moon". At the start of the Week Venus is below the head of  Tarus the Bull and  the bright star Aldebaran. The Crescent Moon is below Venus on the 21st forming a line with  Aldebaran .

 Mars is lost in the twilight.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

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